Theater students' visit to Salem was perfect prep for performance of The Crucible
A visit to the Salem Museum was the perfect way to prepare for a performance of The Crucible. (Photos submitted by Kittatinny Players).
NEWTON – As they prepare to take the stage for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, members of the Kittatinny Players have a real appreciation for their characters and their time, gained through an unusual field trip. The play is Miller’s take on the Salem witchcraft hysteria of 1692 during which 20 townspeople were executed after being falsely accused and convicted of witchcraft. Another five died in jail. About 40 Kittatinny Regional High School students made a day-long road trip to Salem in mid-September to see where it all happened. “We wanted to get to know the people we were playing,” said senior Sophie Verhalen, who portrays Mary Warren, one of the accusers. The seniors had read the play during their sophomore year, but Verhalen said that the visit helped them “realize the magnitude” of the history they were depicting. The students inspected a memorial dedicated last year where the hangings occurred. On stone benches commemorating each of their characters they found flowers, coins and other mementos left by previous visitors. They toured the city’s witchcraft museum, which Verhelen found “creepy,” and visited the House of the Seven Gables, Finally, they sampled a less tragic part of Salem’s past with a sailing trip on a replica of a 1850s schooner. Students visited Salem to best prepare for a performance of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. (Photos submitted).